The last time that I had renewed my passport was back in 2003. I had done it at the British Embassy here in Bangkok. Unfortunately, they have now down-sized much of their services in order to save money. Now everyone in this region has to send their application form for a new passport to their office in Hong Kong. It sounds complicated and expensive but as it turned out, it was all quite quick and painless. What I will do now on this blog is to go through the steps that you need to do to get a new passport.
- To apply for, renew or replace a British passport if you are outside of the UK you need to click on this link.
- On the next page make sure you choose Thailand
- They say that it will take 4 weeks to renew your passport. It took me only 17 days
- At time of writing, a new 32 page passport is 7,295 Baht which includes courier fee
- On this page I downloaded the passport application form and the card authorization form as I wanted to use my credit card. Alternatively you can pay with a bankers’ draft
- On the same page there is a link for photo requirements. Please note, the photos of me in the above picture are NOT acceptable. The two photos that I sent showed the face much larger with only the top of my necktie showing.
- You don’t need to have the back of one of the photos signed if you are renewing
- Thailand is one of the few countries that you DON’T need to send your old passport
- On the application form, it asks if you have enclosed your passport. You have to say “yes” even though you don’t include it
- Think carefully about the return address you put. As it comes back by courier, someone needs to be there to sign for it (in my case they were fingerscanned). You might want to put your place of work
- I sent the application form, photocopies of my photo page and visa page in my passport, card authorization form and two photos to the Hong Kong address (*) by EMS at my local post office. This cost 400 Baht.
- Please note, even though I applied in September and my passport expires in December, I didn’t lose those months. I need to double check, but I think they credit you with up to nine months if you apply for your passport early. My new passport now expires in December 2023.
(*) Please note, as of 10 December 2013, you now need to send your passport renewal application to the UK. New passports can still be applied for in Bangkok.
I sent the passport application on 30th August and it came back on 16th September. Quicker than expected. My next task was to visit Immigration to have my “extension of stay” stamps transferred from my old visa to the new one. Please note, Immigration have now changed their regulations. If you renew your “extension of stay” after 13 August 2013 you CANNOT transfer visa stamps to your new passport. I was lucky as I got my renewal done back in March of this year and so I was exempted. It is important that when you next go to renew your “extension of stay” that your passport is valid more than a year. If you only have seven months left they will only give you seven months on your “extension of stay”.
As I didn’t send my old passport with the application there was one thing that needed to be done. It is important that your old passport is cancelled before you go to Immigration. They will tell you that you will need to go to your embassy to get a letter to say that your old passport has been cancelled. But you don’t need to do that. On Twitter last night, @forestmat told me that he cut the corners of the passport himself. I wasn’t sure if this was official or not so I tweeted the question to the British Ambassador Mark Kent @KentBKK. He confirmed in his tweet that you can cancel your old passport yourself by cutting the corner on the front and back pages and also the photo page. This is what I did before going to Immigration this afternoon. Once there, I filled in a form for transferring the stamps across to my new passport. I also had to have photocopies of the photo page, visa page of my old passport and photo page of the new one. The whole process took about ten minutes. There were no fees too.
Hopefully I have made it all clear. Please post a comment if you need me to clarify anything.